By ELLEN G. WHITE

When it is possible, let the minister and his wife go forth to­gether. The wife can often labor by the side of her hus­band, accomplishing a noble work. She can visit the homes of the people and help the women in these families in a way that her husband cannot. . . .

Select women who will act an earnest part. The Lord will use intelligent women in the work of teaching. . . . There is a great work for women to do in the cause of present truth. Through the exercise of womanly tact and a wise use of their knowl­edge of Bible truth, they can remove dif­ficulties that our brethren cannot meet. We need women workers to labor in con­nection with their husbands, and should encourage those who wish to engage in this line of missionary effort.—Evangelism, p. 491.

Woman, if she wisely improves her time and her faculties, relying upon God for wisdom and strength, may stand on an equality with her husband as adviser, counselor, companion, and co-worker, and yet lose none of her womanly grace and modesty. She may elevate her own charac­ter, and just as she does this she is elevat­ing and ennobling the characters of her family, and exerting a powerful though un­conscious influence upon others around her. Why should not women cultivate the intellect? Why should they not answer the purpose of God in their existence? Why may they not understand their own powers, and realizing that these powers are given of God, strive to make use of them to the fullest extent in doing good to others, in advancing the work of reform, of truth and real goodness in the world? Satan knows that women have a power of influence for good or for evil; therefore he seeks to enlist them in his cause.—Ibid., p. 467.

A responsibility rests upon the minis­ter's wife which she should not and cannot lightly throw off. God will require the tal­ent lent her, with usury. She should work earnestly, faithfully, and unitedly with her husband to save souls. She should never urge her wishes and desires, or express a lack of interest in her husband's labor, or dwell upon homesick, discontented feel­ings. All these natural feelings must be overcome. She should have a purpose in life which should be unfalteringly carried out. What if this conflicts with the feelings and pleasures and natural tastes! These should be cheerfully and readily sacrificed, in order to do good and save souls.

The wives of ministers should live de­voted, prayerful lives. But some would en­joy a religion in which there are no crosses, and which calls for no self-denial and exer­tion on their part. Instead of standing nobly for themselves, leaning upon God for strength, and bearing their individual re­sponsibility, they have much of the time been dependent upon others, deriving their spiritual life from them. If they would only lean confidingly, in childlike trust, upon God, and have their affections centered in Jesus, deriving their life from Christ, the living vine, what an amount of good they might do, what a help they might be to others, what a support to their husbands; and what a reward would be theirs in the end!—Ibid., pp. 674, 675.

Wonderful is the mission of the wives and mothers and the younger women work­ers. If they will, they can exert an influence for good to all around them. By modesty in dress and circumspect deportment, they may bear witness to the truth in its simplic­ity. They may let their light so shine before all, that others will see their good works and glorify their Father which is in heaven. A truly converted woman will ex­ert a powerful transforming influence for good. Connected with her husband, she may aid him in his work, and become the means of encouragement and blessing to him. When the will and way are brought into subjection to the Spirit of God, there is no limit to the good that can be accom­plished.—Ibid., pp. 467, 468.

If a minister's wife accompanies her hus­band in his travels, she should not go for her own special enjoyment, to visit and to be waited upon, but to labor with him. She should have a united interest with him to do good. She should be willing to accom­pany her husband, if home cares do not hinder, and she should aid him in his efforts to save souls. With meekness and humility, yet with a noble self-reliance, she should have a leading influence upon minds around her, and should act her part and bear her cross and burden in meeting, and around the family altar, and in con­versation at the fireside. The people expect this, and they have a right to expect it. If these expectations are not realized, the hus­band's influence is more than half de­stroyed.

The wife of a minister can do much if she will. If she possesses the spirit of self-sacrifice, and has a love for souls, she can with him do almost an equal amount of good. A sister-laborer in the cause of truth can understand and reach some cases, es­pecially among the sisters, that the min­ister cannot.—Ibid., p. 675.

Specific Cautions

Especially should the wives of our min­isters be careful not to depart from the plain teachings of the Bible on the point of dress. Many look upon these injunctions as too old fashioned to be worthy of notice, but He who gave them to His disciples understood the dangers from the love of dress in our time, and sent to us the note of warning. Will we heed the warning and be wise? Extravagance in dress is contin­ually increasing. The end is not yet. Fashion is constantly changing, and our sisters follow in its wake, regardless of time or expense. There is a great amount of means expended upon dress, when it should be returned to God the giver.­Ibid., pp. 675, 676.

All this [the wearing of a wedding ring] is unnecessary. Let the ministers' wives have the golden link which binds their souls to Jesus Christ, a pure and holy char­acter, the true love and meekness and god­liness that are the fruit borne upon the Christian tree, and their influence will be secure anywhere. . . Americans can make their position understood by plainly stating that the custom is not regarded as obliga­tory in our country. We need not wear the sign, for we are not untrue to our mar­riage vow, and the wearing of the ring would be no evidence that we were true. . . . Not one penny should be spent for a circlet of gold to testify that we are mar­ried. In countries where the custom is im­perative, we have no burden to condemn those who have their marriage ring; let them wear it if they can do so conscien­tiously; but let not our missionaries feel that the wearing of the ring will increase their influence one jot or tittle.—Testi­monies to Ministers, pp. 180, 181.

These sisters are closely connected with the work of God if He has called their hus­bands to preach the present truth. These servants, if truly called of God, will feel the importance of the truth. They are standing between the living and the dead, and must watch for souls as they that must give an account. Solemn is their calling, and their companions can be a great bless­ing or a great curse to them. They can cheer them when desponding, comfort them when cast down, and encourage them to look up and trust fully in God when their faith fails. Or they can take an op­posite course, look upon the dark side, think they have a hard time, exercise no faith in God, talk their trials and unbelief to their companions, indulge a complain­ing, murmuring spirit, and be a dead weight, and even a curse to them. . . .

An unsanctified wife is the greatest curse that a minister can have. Those servants of God that have been and are still so un­happily situated as to have this withering influence at home, should double their prayers and their watchfulness, take a firm, decided stand, and let not this darkness press them down. They should cleave closer to God, be firm and decided, rule well their own house, and live so that they can have the approbation of God and the watchcare of the angels. But if they yield to the wishes of their unconsecrated com­panions, the frown of God is brought upon the dwelling. The ark of God cannot abide in the house, because they counte­nance and uphold them in their wrongs.— Evangelism, pp. 677, 678.

Nothing to Divert From Home Mission

Let the minister's wife who has chil­dren remember that in her home she has a missionary field in which she should labor tvith untiring energy and unflagging zeal, knowing that the results of her work will endure throughout eternity. Are not the souls of her children of as much value as the souls of the heathen? Then let her tend them with loving care. She is charged with the responsibility of showing to the world the power and excellence of home religion. She is to be controlled by princi­ple, not by impulse, and she is to work with the consciousness that God is her helper. She is to allow nothing to divert her from her mission.

The influence of the mother who has a close connection with Christ is of infinite worth. Her ministry of love makes the home a Bethel. Christ works with her, turning the common water of life into the .wine of heaven. Her children will grow up to be a blessing and an honor to her in this life and in the life to come.

If married men go into the work, leav­ing their wives to care for the children at home, the wife and mother is doing fully as great and important a work as is the husband and father. While one is in the missionary field, the other is a home mis­sionary, whose cares and anxieties and burdens frequently far exceed those of the husband and father. The mother's work is a solemn and important one,—to mold the minds and fashion the characters of her children, to train them for usefulness here, and to fit them for the future immortal life. The husband, in the open missionary field, may receive the honor of men, while the home toiler may receive no earthly credit for her labor; but if she works for the best interests of her family, seeking to fashion their characters after the divine Model, the recording angel writes her name as one of the greatest missionaries in the world.

The minister's wife may be a great help to her husband in seeking to lighten his burden, if she keeps her own soul in the love of God. She can teach the Word to her children. She can manage her own household with economy and discre­tion. United with her husband, she can educate her children in habits of economy, teaching them to restrict their wants.­Ibid., pp. 676, 677.

The minister's wife may do a large work, if she realizes her dependence upon Christ, and finds Him to be her full sufficiency. It is poor work that any of us can do, even though we consecrate every ability to God. But if we do not thus consecrate ourselves, we become stumbling-blocks. I would urge upon all the necessity of aiming to reach the highest standard in spirituality. A form of godliness has but little value, indeed it is a positive curse when the heart is unre­newed, unregenerated. Great responsibil­ities rest upon the missionary's wife. A great deal will depend upon whether she is gathering heavenly treasures, or allowing her mind to grasp things of trifling impor­tance. If she is dwelling upon heavenly things, she will have the true missionary spirit; her love for souls will flow out in copious streams, and will constrain her to seek and to save that which is lost.—The Review and Herald, March 11, 1902.


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By ELLEN G. WHITE

April 1956

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